A beauty & lifestyle blog.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yankee Candle Strawberry Buttercream



You guys. You GUYS. How can I express to you my love for this candle? Let me just say you absolutely need it in your life if you like sweet fruity scents, and even if you don't, give this one a sniff and I'm sure you'll fall in love. I have this absolutely humongous container of Strawberry Buttercream and I am so glad I got the big one, because it's a treat to burn it. With the scent of plump ripe strawberries covered with frosting, I am completely smitten with this beauty. I have to say I am really impressed with Yankee Candles, they are my all-time favourite as they burn beautifully and they scent my room even when they are not burning ... When I go somewhere, I take the lid off of this candle, and when I come back, my whole room is strawberry scented - just amazing. It's so soothing to have a candle burning as well, it really helps me concetrate and since I work from home, it's a really welcome addition to my desk.

I got this candle from The Scented Candle Shop, which sells all kinds of candles and other related goodies. I would definitely recommend a good ol' browse of their site, which is absolutely lovely ... I got another YC (look at me, all down with the candle talk) candle, actually a set of tea lights, which will definitely be featured here in the near future. This particular (huge) candle costs around 25€, but you can also get smaller sizes - you might want to try a little one in case you don't like the scent, and if you get tired of fragrances easily.

Just another thought - why don't we burn candles as much in the summer? Of course, it's hot and the last thing on your mind is burning something, but with Yankee's gorgeous summer scents I can just imagine unwinding on a summer eve with a scent like Pink Sands or Bahama Breeze. Oh, another scent I would strongly recommend is Summer Scoop, which I had last year. Di-vine!
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Friday, May 30, 2014

Vera Wang Princess Power EDT



As some of you know, I've been working with Fragrance Direct and loving every second of it. I've told you I love the site before, but recently I've become even more obsessed with it. The ever so lovely Fiona saw my recent posts about perfumes I've almost used up, which also included Vera Wang Priness, my all-time favourite. She offered to send me the new edition, Princess Power - how could I say no to that?

Princess Power arrived in the post safe and sound, wrapped in a gift with purchase, which my mom immediately claimed (cheers, momma). It was a big lilac beach bag with sequin purple hearts on it - quite cute! I was so anxious I unwrapped it right there at the post office and started sniffing it like a certified loon. This is an Eau de toilette, like the original Princess, but the scent is a bit more faint - on me, Princess lasts for hours and has the power of an EDP. This is more refreshing and light. I really don't see any similarities between this and the original Princess - that one is a mix of guava, vanilla & chocolate, while this is a musky blend of fruits and florals. The scent is quite musky, but not in a masculine way, as the added notes of raspberry and pear (one of my personal favourites) really soften it up. Jasmine is also present in the concoction as well as vanilla and frangipani, which I love as well. The effect is a light and airy fragrance, perhaps a bit different than the name might suggest - when I hear Power, I think strong notes, maybe gardenia, tuberose, with some vanilla thrown in for femininity. However, after consideration I've decided I really like this scent - it represents a modern, flirty, confident woman who is at heart still girly. My mom asked me if she could have it since I didn't seem to like it so much at the beginning and I said yes, but as I type this, sniffing the fragrance, I think I'll keep it for myself after all - there's just something about it. Sorry mom!

I'd definitely recommend giving Princess Power a try and even if you don't like it, come back to it in a couple of weeks. There's something special in this 'un. Available on Fragrance Direct from around 30€.
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Thursday, May 29, 2014

If you only buy one thing this week - MAC Lovelorn




I remember my first MAC purchase when I went to London in high school - I basically wrote down a list of shades I saw online, then blindly picked up the products recommended by other bloggers and Youtubers. Of course, I ended up with items that would look good on different people, but none of them suited me ... This time when I was abroad and visiting a MAC store, I decided to browse a bit. This is how I coincidentally came across this shade called Lovelorn. It has a Lustre finish, and to be honest I don't think I've heard of it before - but fell in love in the store. I used to have MAC Creme Cup which was too nude for me, and this is like it's more cool toned pink big sister. It's a gorgeous color and has an amazing, really glossy finish. It's not drying and looks really beautiful on my lips. I also love the formula and the scent. This shade needs to be talked about more and if you have access to a MAC counter, please swatch it - maybe it would be perfect for you, I am really in love with it!

MAC lipsticks cost from $16-22€ and can be found in MAC stores worldwide or on their website.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Skincare on a budget - green beauty



I am not a full-on green beauty blogger - while I love natural products, I don't think I'll make the big step to rule out anything that isn't completely organic. Nevertheless, today I decided to put together a collection of my favourite natural products, and what is even better, they are all budget friendly. A lot of natural brands can be quite expensive, so I thought it would be nice to have a guide to a few brands and products which I love and are pretty inexpensive as well.

Starting off with a brand most of us know, I'd like to mention LUSH. A brand that is widely popular for their natural products and uses ethical ingredients, they have cosmetics that are also appropriate for vegans (as a lot of natural products use beeswax, this is quite welcome). I am a big fan of their Grease Lightning spot treatment which I use almost every day - it is infused with tea tree, so it smells wonderful, and it actually really helps with drying oily areas and reducing blemish size. Costs around 10€.

Next up we have Dr. Scheller. I've tried a few products from them and all have been lovely. What I like is the scents - they are gentle and very inoffensive, but still noticeable. Recently I've been using their Pomegranate Wash Gel, which removes traces of makeup and cleanses my face. I also like their Bio-Hyaluron & Amlaöl First Wrinkles Reducing Care. Now for the life of me I cannot tell you what Amlaöl is, even after Googling/Google Translating it, but it's a lovely moisturizer to wear under my makeup. Products range in cost from 5-10€.

Another favourite is Weleda. I have had their Skin Food moisturizer for about half a year and it comes in really handy with colds and dry patches as it really calms down the skin. Since it's so thick and potent, it calms down irritated areas really fast and prevents skin from peeling. A must-have for colder months, but can be used in the summertime as well. Price is around 7€.

MU London is a brand that is getting more and more coverage lately. I have their White Chocolate Moisturizer and oh my days, it smells wonderful - I'd like to eat it straight out of the pot. It's very potent and thick, applies like an oil and is perfect to use during the night time. It really nourishes the skin and softens it considerably. This is the most expensive product I have included costing around 20€, but I think it's well worth it.

A welcome addition to mine and Tilen's skincare drawer have been B Skincare products. I have been using the Aloe Vera Moisturizer, which is surprisingly thick for a product with aloe vera - I'm used to it being quite runny. But this is really rich, and it still sinks into my skin very fast, so there is no annoying residue left on the skin. Tilen has been using the Soothing Aftershave Balm, and he says he quite likes it, it has a nice scent, sinks in well, is refreshing - and on top of it all, it doesn't sting his skin after shaving like other products of this kind. Both of the products cost around 7 pounds, translating to about 10€, which I think is great. The items are not tested on animals, contain no parabens, SLS, fragrances, palm oil or lanolin and they are handmade weekly, so you always get a fresh product. You can order from their website here.

And finally, a firm favourite is also Lavera, and I of course forgot to include their products in the photos, but it doesn't mean I don't like them! If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll actually know I've loved Lavera for a while, especially their cleansing facial gels, which I've mentioned time and time again. I also really like their makeup and want to try more skincare as well - but I can tell you the sensitive & combination skin cleansers are definitely winners in my book. The cleansers cost around 6€.

What is your favourite budget green brand?
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Monday, May 26, 2014

Snack idea - coconut & oats cookies



I haven't posted a recipe in absolute ages! This one comes from the beautiful blog Two Peas and their Pod which I absolutely love - I've made a few of their recipes and they were all lovely. Last week I tried my hand at these coconut oatmeal cookies, though I changed the recipe a bit. You can see the original on their blog, but here is my version.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
1 sachet of baking powder
1 vanilla sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup oats
1 cup shredded coconut

Instructions

Basically, I just mixed up all of the ingredients, I'm too impatient to do it all separately, but it came out fine. Then, I scooped the cookies up in my hands, made little discs (I like them a bit imperfect) and put them on a sheet of lining paper on a baking tray. I put them in the oven for around 20 minutes with the temperature at 175°. Waited for them to cool & served with some nectarines and a glass of milk.

If you compare the two recipes, you'll see I drastically changed the amount of sugar, as the original recipe calls for 2 cups and I only used a half of a cup. This happened by mistake (obvi), but I loved that the cookies were less sweet. I'd also love to experiment with using whole wheat flour in this recipe, though I'm not sure how it would come out. You can sweeten them with a bit of honey or agave as well, and serve them with jam!

Would you like to see more recipes on this blog?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Je ne sais ... not


Paris Street Style - A guide to effortless chic by Isabelle Thomas & Frédérique Veysset is a novel I've wanted for a while now. On my recent trip to Amsterdam, I spotted it in this amazing bookstore we were in and could resist no longer - I ended up getting the book and taking it home with me. You can buy it here. I was incredibly excited to start reading and perusing the pages, filled to the brim with gorgeous photography and what I thought would be interesting tips. Sadly, I was really disappointed ...

Let's start with the tone of the book, which I found to be incredibly stereotypical and offensive. All the people who were interviewed displayed a holier-than-thou attitude, as if being French somehow made you superior to other people. I've had it up to here with that, because I often get overlooked as a blogger (and person) just because I'm from a tiny European country, which I love, by the way. All this malarkey about French women being born with it just got to me, as well as the stereotypes about American and Italian women - how rude! So just because I'm born in a certain country that makes me cheap, not stylish and automatically means I should worship anyone with a French pedigree? Get a grip on yourself, you're not all that.

I also really don't appreciate people telling me what to do. This actually dictates 'rules' for women, despite saying repeatedly you should not listen to anyone. So if you're curvy, you can pretty much forget certain types of clothes, or if you're over 20, get over yourself, you need to start dressing more maturely. I am 22 and my personal taste is still girly, and I see no problem with that. Actually it's this book and the behaviour of certain individuals that has made me completely insecure and led me to believe I should walk around in floor length frocks, cover up my whole body and possibly face in order to be presentable, because I have a few extra pounds and a face that is not all that pretty, and nobody wants to see me on display. This makes me incredibly mad and I'm not taking it anymore.

Besides the often humiliating tone of the book, I did like some of the photography, but even that was a bit lackluster for me. The advice was not useful either. I was just completely disappointed in the book to the point where I really had to ask myself why I let anyone dictate my style according to my nationality and body type as well as age. Ridiculous.

I am all for French style and absolutely love the way women dress in those parts, I also love the ideas for building your wardrobe in a French manner. Do yourself a favour and skip this awful read. Instead I can recommend some amazing minimalistic blogs which take into account the French 'rule' of only buying a few pieces per season. Some of my favourites include Moderosa, Into Mind and After DRK.

Have you read this book? What do you think of it?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Big European Drugstore Haul





Apparently when I shop, I shop big ... I made a trip to the drugstore and got some things inspired by other bloggers as well as some necessities and random things I like the look (or scent) of. You've probably seen the haul on my Instagram already, but I kept one photo especially for this post, so you didn't see everything! By the way, this is all from the European drugstore drogerie markt, which is the place that sells Balea, a really awesome brand I love & would strongly recommend to anyone visiting. Now let's take a look at what I got ...

Body

I've seen the Garnier Oil Beauty range on various blogs and I also own and love their body oil, so I also got this lotion, which I thought might be nice for summer. I've wanted to try the Nivea In-Shower Body Milk for a while, and I noticed the Cocoa & Milk version in the new releases ... It was love at first sniff and I'm really excited to try this, it's so hyped up! I also got two Balea shower products, the Mango Mambo shower gel and Apple Blossom Shower Oil. They cost around 1€ each so I really could not resist. And finally, two deodorants from Balea, which I mostly got because of the scent. I've had the Coconut & Nectarine shower gel and it's blooming amazing, and the Raspberry & Lemongrass one also smells really lovely.

Hair

This is a totally Mateja inspired purchase. I actually browsed her blog before I went to the drugstore, because I really trust her opinion and she always finds the best products. Because of her I got the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette shampoo & conditioner, plus, they were on offer! She also inspired my purchase of the got2b Volumania Big Volume Push Up Spray Mousse & Styling Powder, and I do hope my luck with got2b changes and I love these products. I got a random mask by Schwarzkopf, the essence ultime Repair Mask.

Makeup

The eyeliners from Essence were bought on a whim after seeing Petra's post on them, after which I really couldn't leave them in the store, could I? I also got a random Essence all about matt! translucent powder, as my Rimmel Stay Matte is crushed to oblivion and I'm almost out of the Catrice one. I finally got a nail polish by Essie, which looks idential to Fiji, but is actually in the shade Romper Room. My bottle of Fiji has thickened up so much it's pretty much impossible to use.

Face

Mateja, your blog is bad for my wallet. I got the Neutrogena mask based on her recommendation, and I also got the Balea Aqua Serum, which seems to be really popular locally. I also spotted the Balea Teint Perfektion primer, which I remembered from one of Mateja's (do you spot a slight obsession) wishlist, and it was discounted, so I just got it.

I have plenty of new things to write about now, so do let me know if you'd like a review on any of these! What was your most recent drugstore buy?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Quick fixes for blemishes



I've mentioned a few times I've been suffering with bad skin lately, so today I decided to share a few saviours for blemished skin, depending on how much time you have. Despite the annoying topic I had a lot of fun thinking up of this post & I'd love to do more like this - do let me know if you like it please!

If you have 5 minutes ... Let's say you're going out in the morning and just woke up with a massive spot. What I found helps me loads is just taking a few ice cubes, wrapping them in a thin towel or even a paper towel, and pressing to the offending spot. In a few minutes, the swelling should go down considerably and it also helps redness to fade. It won't stop the spot from forming, but it will reduce swelling on that morning run to the coffee shop!

If you have 30 minutes ... Maybe you're getting ready to go out and have a few spare minutes to get ready. I would recommend using LUSH Grease Lightning, which is a lovely natural product infused with calming tea tree and rosemary. Apply it on problematic areas and do your hair, then apply makeup as normal. It really reduces redness, doesn't sting like some other acne treatments, and will reduce swelling as well. If you find it too sticky, do rinse it off before applying makeup.

If you have a couple of hours ... Use Vichy Hyaluspot. This is a total miracle worker for me and I don't know how I managed without it. A spot treatment that works really fast, Hyaluspot comes with a cooling applicator as well and diminishes blemishes in size as well as dries them up. I use it religiously.

Overnight ... My pick for this category is the Vichy Night Detox. It's a really light product that claims to unclog pores and clear skin of any blemishes. I like applying it overnight, and I've even used it in the daytime, I just cannot get enough of it. It improved the texture of my skin with just one night's work, and it definitely deserves a mention. If you use it continuosly, you should see even better results.

If you have a few days ... If you want to improve the texture of your skin and have a bit more time, I would advise using the Paula's Choice BHA Liquid. This has Salycilic Acid, which is a well known acne treatment, and it really clears my skin up. You can't really use it during the day, so your best bet would be a lazy weekend in, as it has a strange feeling on the face, and you really can't wear makeup over it. And please remember to use SPF when using this product - just apply a foundation with SPF next day if you're in the sun!

I've been using all of these products and my skin has gotten a lot better, though I still suffer from blemishes on some parts of my face and body - such a nuisance at 22! What is your miracle acne product?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Evelyn's Spring Makeup Bag



Today's post is in English only as we have a guest poster! The ever-so-lovely Evelyn from We Were Raised By Wolves is sharing what's in her spring makeup bag and I'm thrilled to have this beauty on the blog. You can follow her on Bloglovin, and don't forget to check out her Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook & Instagram as well. Enjoy this lovely post!

Hi Everyone!  I'm so excited to be on Živa's blog today. I wanted to share with you my current makeup bag which features some of my favourite Spring products.
I like to choose lighter, more natural looking bases when the weather gets warmer and Lavera Beauty Balm is an excellent choice for when you want just a hint of colour to your complexion.  For areas that require a bit more coverage, I'll apply a little bit of Maybelline Fit Me Concealer which works well under the eyes and over any blemishes that you may have. 
For eyes, I love a sheer wash of gold to brighten them up (Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Sun Glow is perfect for this) and like to finish them off with two coats of a good smudge and water-proof mascara like Benefit They're Real.  I sadly suffer from hayfever so waterproof is a must for me!
I'm a huge fan of cream blushers and I think that they look particularly pretty in Spring. Liz Earle Healthy Glow Cream Blush in Rose has a lovely texture and is easy to apply and blend.  If I'm not wearing a blush, I'll go for a bronzer like the infamous 'Chocolate Bar' bronzer from Bourjois and add a little of Benefit Sun Beam as a highlighter.
For lips, I'll either go au naturale and just apply some balm like Peppy Galore Healing Balm which is amazing for dry lips, or I'll wear something light but still pigmented such as Korres Lip Butter in Pomegranate for a pop of Spring colour.  
I hope you enjoyed reading what's in my Spring makeup bag!  I'd love it if you'd like to follow my blog :) 
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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Best highlighting makeup products



First of all, a major thank you to Ajda, who took these photos with me - I really appreciate her help! I also have an insane wish to purchase a DSLR now, which, with my budget, might remain a dream for a while longer. That aside, this post features an assortment of my favourite highlighting makeup products. Let's see what I've been loving ...

If you'd like a nice base, I cannot recommend L'Oréal Lumi Magique Foundation enough. I got this on offer a few months ago and it has made it all the way into my top 3 foundations of all time. I think I even managed to pick the right colour shade, which is a miracle in itself. The foundation has medium to high coverage, is nicely blendable and gives my skin a beautiful luminous sheen. I used to be an all matte, all day kind of girl, but lately I'm all about the dewy finish, and this foundation is just perfect for achieving it. You can find it in most drugstores or online at Feel Unique for around 12€.

I'd also like to mention a primer pick, which is also from the L'Oréal Lumi Magique line. This white shimmery primer somehow manages to blend in with my skin, making it beautifully illuminated. I used to use it on my whole face, but lately I prefer to apply it just to my cheeks for a gorgeous finish. It gives a lit from within look if you apply it under your foundation, and you can put it on with fingers - no brush needed. Price is from 12-14€, you can find it online in Boots.

Moving on to proper highlighters, I have to mention MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. This gorgeous baked highlighter is a gorgeous gold color with a beautiful bronze undertone. It's not crazily pigmented and it looks beautiful combined with a pink blusher or a nice bronzer. I apply it on top of my cheekbones, but I also like it alongside my bronzer for a bit of a different look. The only problem for me is the accessibility, as I cannot get MAC in my country and cannot even order online! Price is around 22-25€ at MAC counters or online.

My only (but very well-loved) NARS product is the gorgeous Illuminator in Orgasm. Though I do have to say I absolutely detest their product names, they're just cringe! This comes in a squeezy tube and is not really the shade of the Orgasm blush - it's lighter. On the cheeks, it's amazing! Light pink with bronze and coral tones, and gorgeous shimmer. It's liquid and blends beautifully on the skin. I apply it with my fingers most of the time. Price is around 25€, you can find it on Look Fantastic.

And finally, a new addition - the BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector. I have a little sample size of this baby which I received in a UK beauty box swap. The shade is flesh toned, with slight pink undertones and gorgeous shimmer. I use it as a highlighter, but I would love to try it as a primer - I think it would give a gorgeous finish, maybe even combined with a matte effect foundation, the finish might be great. I will report back on that, but in the meantime, you can find the product on the BECCA site for a hefty price of 50€.

There you have it - all you need for a gorgeous highlighted face. What is your favourite highlighting product?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Rediscovering lipgloss



I'm one of those typical beauty bloggers who just cannot stand lipgloss. I wore it as a teenager probably, but all the sticking-to-my-hair-and-everything-else bothered me so much I eventually just made the switch to lipstick. However, lately I've rediscovered the power of a gorgeous glossy lip and I've accumulated a few lip glosses that I've been quite in love with. Let's see which products convinced me to change my mind ...

My mom and dad recently went to NYC, and my mom brought me back some Victoria's Secret goodies, including this Beauty Rush lipgloss in Grapefruit Blast. I guess these are pretty much a staple if you're from the US, but I cannot get my hands on many VS bits, so I was happy to try it. It's flavoured, and I'm a lip biter, so ... Not much needs to be said. I also like the subtle hint of fuchsia and the shimmer in it, which isn't grubby on the lips at all. It costs $10 on the VS website. My mom picked up loads for her friends and I really think it makes a cute gift!

I've also been liking another scented product, the I love ... strawberries & milkshake shimmer & shine lip gloss. I love ... is a brand I'm quite new to, but I have a few products now and everytime I'm amazed by the lovely scent. Strawberry & milkshake is the kind of oh-my-god-why-is-this-not-food-i-wanna-eat-it-okay-i-wont scent you will really love. It is a bit sticky, so I wouldn't wear it on a windy day (not with my hair at least), but I've even worn it at home, when friends come over for coffee and I don't want to have bare lips, but don't want to bother with lipstick. The color is almost transparent and it doesn't have much shimmer or glitter at all, so it just makes your pout pretty and glossy. These products are pretty inexpensive as well, with this gloss costing 4€.

Now moving on to more expensive favourites, I just have to mention the Clarins Gloss Prodige in Coral Tulip. Oh my days, this is gorgeous! The beautiful reddish coral colour, with pretty gold shimmer ... I'm just in love! And generally I don't like coral, gold, shimmer or lip gloss, so you best be aware this is a good 'un. It isn't as sticky as the I love ... lipgloss, which is really nice. I've just put it on as I'm writing this post and convinced myself again how much I love it, it's just blooming beautiful! I think it's also scented as it smells quite nice (I checked online and it claims to have a liquorice scent, I'd just like to state I don't smell that at all - thankfully as I absolutely destest the note of liquorice). This costs around 18€, you can get it on the Boots website.

Also, I couldn't write this post without mentioning the Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in 01 Rose Shimmer. I first got this product a few years ago for Christmas from my aunt and uncle - I asked for it myself. At the time though, I really hated it and ended up giving it to a friend. However, I recently got this sample and I've kind of swallowed my pride and am now admitting to actually liking it ... It's not love, but it is still a really good product. My main problem with it is the applicator, which is that fuzzy thing which you squeeze and the product comes out. I really dislike that kind of applicators as they get really dirty, but other than that, the product is really natural and gives my lips a gorgeous sheen. Okay, I'm converted! Available in Boots for around 16€.

And finally, Collistar Gloss Design in an unknown shade (it's a sample). The color couldn't be farther away from what I like - it's a nude-ish light pink with silver shimmer. I thought I would just give it away to a friend, but I've actually been wearing it quite a bit! You have to know this is very strange as I'm normally a bold lip kind of person, but I've been loving the eyeliner & mascara look with glossy lips. I also really like the applicator of this gloss, which is kind of a flattened doe foot, which makes applicaton a lot easier. This gloss costs around 19€ in drugstores and department stores.

I wouldn't say I'm fully converted, but I've really come to appreciate a nice glossy lip! Definitely won't be swearing off lipgloss then. What is your favourite lip gloss?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Monday, May 19, 2014

15 beauty blog post ideas


I know I've gotten stuck in a blogging rut before, and it's no fun! I thought I'd post 15 ideas for beauty posts which all of us should be able to do. Another tip is to write some ideas down as soon as you get them, for future reference. Let's get on to the post ideas now ...

1. New beauty brands to discover
A selection of products from less well-known brands you love. 
2. Best products for fine hair
You can replace fine with your personal hair type.
3. How I edit blog photos
I would personally love it if more posts like this went up!
4. Everyday lip products
We don't want to wear neon everyday, so show us some awesome neutral picks.
5. How to make your blog stand out & be unique
Tell us your tips & tricks.
6. Favourite iPhone & Android applications
What do you use to edit your photos? What social media do you use? Do you play any games on your phone?
7. How to promote your blog
Do you use Twitter or Facebook? Advertise on other blogs? Tell us your secret weapon!
8. Bath-time must haves
Alternatively you could tell us what's in your shower if you don't have a bath!
9. Product comparision
Obsessed with hair oils? Try 'em all out and write a round up!
10. Must-have beauty tools
Have a pair of tweezers you love, or found the best brush? Do tell!
11. Minimal makeup/hair/skincare
Let's get back to basics.
12. Best of the drugstore
We all love a good bargain buy.
13. Trying out cult beauty products
Do they work?
14. Lazy day makeup/skincare
What do you use?
15. Beauty must-haves: skin/hair/makeup
What can't you live without?

Actually I want to write a bunch of new blog posts myself now! I do hope you liked this list and please let me know if you'd like to see more ideas of blogging posts in general as I have so many lined up.

What is your foolproof blog post idea?
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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring advertisers on Nothin' Fancy. Really.


I have a confession to make - this post is long overdue! I finally managed to get my act together and put my advertisers post together after such a long time. I just wanted a few companies and blogs to accumulate so I could talk about all of them in one big post - I hope you don't mind! So if you're interested in finding some awesome new reads and a super unique UK online store, keep on reading ...

Bloggers

Abbie at Dainty Little Dreams
Abbie says: Hello, I’m Abbie and I blog over at Dainty Little Dreams. This little place on the Internet allows me to share all my thoughts and musings on beauty and skincare, with occasional posts on everything in between. I love hearing from my readers and reading any comments that are left, so if you pop by I’d be more than happy if you said hello!
I say: Over the course of a few hours, I managed to browse Abbie's blog and consequently fall completely in love with it! With her gorgeous photography and layout, it's easy on the eyes, but I also love her posts on all things beauty. Abbie's blog deserves so much more followers as I know so many people would enjoy reading her blog!

Melissa at M is for Melissa
First of all, I am super envious of Melissa as she is from NYC - how awesome is that? Aside from living in my city of dreams, this lovely lady runs a beautifully designed blog with beautiful photography and awesome reviews. I just love Melissa's new blog design (totally making me want a new layout as well) and I've actually pinned a few of her images for inspiration, that's how much I love them.

Tina at Tinna's Pink Place
A fellow Slovenian blogger, Tina is a girl I first met years ago, and recently we had coffee again. First of all, this girl's absolutely gorgeous and totally inspired me to get a hair makeover - I remember her with long hair like mine, after which she got it cut and now rocks a shoulder length which really suits her. I also absolutely love her makeup looks as well as her nails of course! I remember seeing her Konad manicures back in the day and being completely smitten. Her blog is filled with NOTDs, hauls and product reviews. Awesome for mani inspiration, and to top it all off, she's such a great girl.

Stores

The store advertising with me this spring is Camden Town. I was thrilled to work with them as their store is a just full of unique one of a kind items that are so Camden. With everything from clothing, furniture, homeware & clothing, you're bound to find your next buy in their awesome online store. The thing I love the most about the store is their uniqueness, because lately I feel like every store carries the same items, but Camden Town really has some unique picks. Definitely one to check out.

There we have it, an assortment of awesome places on the web, perfect for you to browse this Sunday afternoon! What is your favourite website at the moment?


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Saturday, May 17, 2014

10 under 10€ - for the face


I had a great day yesterday - I visited a blogging friend whose photos and blog I've admired for absolute ages, for a 101 on photography. You can probably guess who my teacher was - the ever so gorgeous Ajda from http://www.ajdas.com/, a blog I would strongly encourage you to check out, as it's absolutely beautiful and filled with amazing photography. Ajda and I took some photos for future blog posts together and I love the way they came out, so it's safe to say I will ask her for help again. I also have a craving for a DSLR now ... A huge thank you to Ajda, I learned so much & I can't wait for another bloggy get together, dear!

I realize I often post about high end skincare and beauty, and thought it would be nice if I wrote a post on 10 drugstore items under 10€, this time for the face, and next time maybe for eyes or something skincare related. Most of these products you've probably already seen mentioned here, and I'll link to their respective reviews - I really love all of them and would strongly recommend them, especially for that price. So brace yourselves as we have a very long post ahead of us ...

Let's begin with Catrice All Matt Plus Foundation, which you can see (badly) reviewed here. This is a foundation I received back in the winter from our beauty editor at Cosmopolitan, and shockingly, it was the perfect shade for me, as well as the perfect product. I've been using it to this day, and needless to say, it has lasted absolute ages. I've had many good things to say about it over the months, but a quick recap would be that it has a matte finish while still being very moisturizing on my skin and not drying in the slightest. It also has great packaging - the glass bottle is pretty and comes with a pump, which is just great. I used to compare it to Revlon Colorstay, but I'd like to mention that it is not as heavy and doesn't feel like a mask, also it's way more moisturizing. It's also oil free and lasts for the whole day on me, and one pump is enough for my whole face. It's quite high in coverage. The price is around 7€ if I am not mistaken, and it is seriously one of the best foundations I've tried. Available in European drugstores (Müller).

Another foundation love is the Lavera Natural Liquid Foundation, reviewed here. It's a natural product with a cruelty free certificate, and I was very surprised to see that it is a liquid foundation, not mineral, as is usual with natural makeup. This is hands down my favourite foundation right now (with Catrice & L'Oreal Lumi Magique close behind). It gives an absolutely gorgeous finish, which is neither matte nor dewy, but very natural, while giving a lot of coverage (medium to high, depending on how much you apply). It lasts all day and doesn't sink into pores, which is usually a problem for me. You can find it on Ecco Verde for just under 10€.

Rimmel is a brand I haven't had too much experience with, having only tried three products, but I absolutely loved all of them. I wanted to include the Stay Matte powder, which is just lovely, but mine is completely shattered and not very photogenic, so I decided to talk about the Wake Me Up foundation instead. Now the reason you haven't seen this on my blog too often is because genius me picked the completely wrong shade, so I'm waiting for summer when I'll be a bit more tan. I have worn it a few times and was very pleased with the pretty, natural, only slightly dewy finish. It would be great for someone who's just transitioning from matte finishes and wants to start with something not-too-shiny. Coverage is medium to high, depending on how much you apply. You can find it on Feel Unique for around 10€.

Moving on to concealers, I recently received the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. It felt a little weird not to include it here, despite my opinion of it, which would be best summed up in three words - not all that. It is still an amazing concealer, and for the price, which is around 3-4€, I think it's absolutely wonderful. I deliberately got it in a light shade so I can use it on my undereye area and it lightens it up beautifully. It is very creamy but a bit hard to blend in my opinion. Still a solid product though. A bit problematic to buy if you're not from the UK, where it is sold in Boots. If you're from abroad like me, your best bet would be to ask someone to ship it to you.

A natural favourite comes from Lavera again, and it is the Lavera Natural Concealer, reviewed here. This gem can be found on Ecco Verde for around 8€. It's incredibly creamy and the perfect shade for me. It applies much easier than the Collection one and is easy to blend with fingers or a brush as it has a doe foot applicator. I do like to set it with a powder though. Not much else to say other than proclaim my love for this product!

And finally we have the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream for Eyes, which is a newer addition to my collection, so I haven't spoken about it too much. This is also the only product where I dared to go over the 10€ limit, but only a little bit okay! You can find it on ASOS for around 11€, but with all the offers in drugstores I think you can get it for less as well. Let's get the bad out of the way first - my personal preference is against these twist-y applicators, which this product has, but it doesn't bother me too much, as the CC Cream is lovely. It's not quite creamy, more liquid and applies beautifully with fingers or a brush. It lightens my undereye area a lot and makes it look very fresh, which is quite welcome when I haven't had much sleep. The shade is also great.

Moving on to blushers and cue me getting excited as they are my favourite product. A girl needs a little bit of blusher in her life AM I RITE. A firm drugstore favourite are the Barry M ones, and this one here is just called Pink or maybe Pink Orchid. I mentioned it most recently in this post, which also has a swatch. This blush has just the right amount of pigmentation and reminds me of a MAC Well Dressed, only with a better colour payoff. It's very beautiful, a cold toned pink which should look lovely on any skintone. I've personally rediscovered it and it has been on my cheeks almost everyday since March! Available on Licila.si for 7€.

The Makeup Revolution Cream Blusher in Framboise Shake is definitely worth a mention, as it continues to impress me. It has incredible pigmentation (you really only need to dip your fingers/brush in it) and it has a great finish and feels like powder on my cheeks. I really hate it when cream blushers don't dry to powder and feel a bit oily, they're also more prone to smudging that way. This product dries powdery and is a gorgeous midtone pink color. I mentioned it in a post on spring cheek picks as well as a Makeup Revolution haul. With the price tag of 2€ (COME ON, 2€) you really can't go wrong. Available on Licila.si or the Makeup Revolution website.

We're near the end, I promise ... Natural Collection is a UK drugstore brand not to be confused with Collection (formerly Collection 2000 and now I just confused you even more). I once bought a lipstick from them for around a pound and quite liked it, and recently received this blusher in Peach Melba in a beauty swap. While at first I didn't think it was a color for me, it's actually quite a lovely dusky pink with bronze undertones, which should look beautiful in the summer. If I am not mistaken the prices of the brand range from 1-2€, so I really think it would be a good purchase for anyone, and they also have a dupe for MAC Well Dressed, I remember seeing it in London.

Finally, the last product, a firm favourite which has been mentioned countless times on this blog ... Sleek blusher in Pixie Pink. This gorgeous, hot fuchsia shade with blue undertones looks incredibly scary in the pan. However, it's very buildable and can be only a flush of colour if you want. I absolutely love it as is evident from the photo - I've pretty much used up the whole thing. I also appreciate that it doesn't have any glitter in it at all, and if there is shimmer, there's really not much of it. Not much I can say about it because I've given it so much praise already, but in case you want to get it, it costs around 7€ on Licila.si.

Well, that was an insanely long post! I do hope it helped at least a little bit. What's your favourite bargain buy?
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Prada Candy EDP


I have another perfume review today! Recently I had the chance to review a fragrance from Fragrance Direct, a shop I've loved for years and have shopped in their online store plenty of times before. Needless to say, I was incredibly excited about the opportunity, and when they told me I could pick out two perfumes, I was ecstatic! At that time, Mother's day was just coming up in Slovenia, and I decided to choose one perfume for my mom. She has wanted Prada Candy for absolute ages, so I decided to give this bottle to her. I just told her yesterday I wanted to write a review, and she guiltily admitted she hadn't even opened her bottle yet. After years of wanting it, she was so scared of using it up she didn't even want to start spraying it. Bless! I assured her I'll get her a new bottle when this one is gone - let's hope she starts using it soon. That aside, I've had the fragrance on for the whole day and can now write this review for you!

Prada Candy did not intrigue me at the time it arrived on the market, back in 2011. I wasn't really into sweet perfumes at the time, I prefered strong white florals. However, these days I'm all about a bit of sweetness and I really love this beauty of a perfume. First of all, the packaging is absolutely lovely and looks quite luxurious; I also like the advertisement with the mod illustration. And to top it all off, the model of the fragrance is French actress Lea Seydoux (I just loved her in La Belle et la Bete). The warm amber liquid inside is a story in itself. I say warm because the scent actually makes me feel cozy, warm and pretty. I was immediately seduced with the most prominent note of caramel, a scent I just love. Vanilla is very complimentary to the caramel and they create an amazing, rich base for the scent. It has a hint of musk, as well as some benzoin. I personally had to research the last note - turns out it's an oil extracted from trees, which is reminiscent of vanilla. That would explain the slight woody scent. All together they make an absolutely beautiful fragrance which is more grown up from other sweet scents like Fantasy and Pink Sugar. I'd also like to mention that the perfume is very strong on the first spray and you will be enveloped in a lovely cloud of fragrance for at least a couple of hours. It needs reapplying in about 3-4 hours, but if it were any stronger, it would be hard to wear because of the notes. Just a beautiful fragrance, and I think I've successfully convinced myself I must have it as well ...

You can find Prada Candy on Fragrance Direct for as low as 44€, and you can also check out the its new flanker, Prada Candy Eau Florale.
Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Disappointing products: Makeup & Hair



I don't often come across a product I don't like, but with a beauty stash as big as mine, sometimes I'm bound to encounter a bit of a dud. Today I rummmaged through my makeup and hair drawers and pulled out some products I really did not like. Hopefully my opinion will help you deciding whether they'd be right for you or not!

Let's start with the Schwarzkopf got2b Beach Girl Texturizing Salt Spray. I got this product about a year ago, and initially, I used it a lot, but after a month or so I realized it actually does nothing! All the claims of beachy, mermaid hair are for nothing, and I really don't care if it's an inexpensive product - it just does not work. It has to be said my hair is stick straight so I'm a bit doubtful about any salt sprays having effect, as even the sea doesn't make it wavy. So ladies with similar hair type, I would say skip it.

I also wanted to mention the Percy & Reed Wonder Balm for hair. I got this in a beauty box swap and later saw it in Barbara's (thepersianbabe on Youtube) favourites. Now I'm normally all for anything she recommends, but maybe we differ in opinion because her hair is naturally wavy and as I mentioned previously, mine is very straight. This is a balm you can apply to wet or dry hair and it is supposed to make your hair light, manageable, soft and all-around amazing. Sadly, it does none of the above for me - it just makes my hair really weighed down and almost oily. Another no-go.

Next, we have the worst of the worst - Alverde Repair Hair Butter with Avocado & Shea Butter. I understand this is an inexpensive product, and with a price tag of around 2€, it would be a bit silly to expect miracles. But you know, when I buy something, I'd really like for it to do what it states it will, otherwise I'll just feel robbed, no matter how much money I spent. This Hair Butter was so terrible! No matter the amount I used, it left my hair after the shower incredibly greasy, sticky, it even had a funky smell. Just a terrible product which did absolutely nothing for my hair.

I also have a newer addition, and I feel a bit bad because it's also from the got2b line by Schwarzkopf. To be honest, I actually really like that line! I love their heat protectant spray as well as the straightening cream, however the Rise 'n Shine body + gloss Whipped Mousse is a different story. I used to be obsessed with mousse for my hair - it really gave me a lot of volume (and if you're looking for a good 'un I absolutely adore the John Frieda Luxurious Volume Mousse). This product by got2b had similar faults as the ones before it - it weighed down my hair, made it incredibly sticky and it all just clung together - gross.

Now on to some disappointment in the makeup department. Something I feel like I shouldn't complain about (but will) are the Maybelline Color Sensational Pop Sticks. They're basically a clear lipstick with crazy neon colors and I'm sorry, but I was expecting at least a little color payoff, or if not that, some moisturization. Nope, nada. The colour pigmentation is non existent and they feel like an unnecessary layer on the lips which is quite unpleasant. Thumbs down.

I didn't enjoy this Makeup Revolution lipstick, either. It's in the shade Beloved. What bothered me was the dryness of the lipstick - it's not moisturizing at all, to the point where I struggled to apply it. It doesn't feel nice on the lips either. I hear their other lip products are amazing though, so I'm not going to write them off just yet.

Finally, I'll rant a bit about the Essence I <3 Stage eyeshadow primer. What in the eff where they thinking when they invented this? I can't even comment on the priming aspect because this things is so incredibly orange! And not even a nice salmon colour, it's literally like the mango shower gel I have at home. Um? I personally am not orange skinned, and I truly don't know who is, apart from squirrels, and the ones I've seen in parks weren't really into eyeshadow. So in order to use this, I had to apply a really strong color just to cover up the general oranginess of the primer ... Why?

Whew, loads of negativity lately over here, huh? I promise to write a happy post soon - I shall take off my complainy pants! 

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Sunday, May 11, 2014

The slightly problematic beauty drawer


I have been struggling a bit with my storage as somehow all of the drawers and closets in my room have become filled to the brim with stuff. I managed to clean out a drawer in one of my storage units and pronounced it the 'Živa gets her skin sorted' drawer. While organizing it I realized it really should be renamed to 'Oh my god I have too much stuff' or maybe even 'The crazy skincare lady is at it again'.

I haven't written too much about my recent skin isssues on here, so let me just give you a quick update. After switching from one medication to another, my skin is not happy. It's actually kind of freaking out. I used to have really bad acne, which I've already mentioned a bunch of times, and while I really cannot say it's as bad as it used to be, my skin at the moment is pretty sad looking. With bumps all over my face, decolletage and back I really don't feel very comfortable and would gladly hide under the duvet until it all passes. However, apparently I'll have to do something about it, so I've set myself a few goals to sort this situation out. First order of business, get better with my skincare routine - enter the beauty drawer. I put in all kinds of things I want to try or have loved in the past to make sure I remove my makeup, cleanse my face & moisturize as well as treat blemishes. Second, I'm making an appointment with a dermatologist and hoping to god there's another solution that is not Roaccutane, as with my depression, I'm really not sure I'm a suitable candidate. And third, I'm doing the all-natural hollistic thing - Tilen's friend's mom (take a moment to process that) is a hollistic doctor and she also has a medical education, so I'm really hoping we can find a solution together.

To be honest, my skin combined with the weight gain has left me feeling pretty unhappy to the point where it's kind of hard to look in the mirror. I've never been really happy with the way I look but it's gotten to the point where I don't even want to go out. So something really needs to be done about my appearance and I do hope I can get back on track with my skin as well as some Happy Go Healthy stuff (I've been slacking, but I have some plans in the next month or so which should help a lot).

Sorry for the slight off topic and a bit of a depressing post. Sometimes I need to vent.
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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aquolina Gold Sugar EDT


My perfume collection would not be quite as big were it not for my lovely aunt, who is another fragrance lover - I could talk notes and scents for hours with her (and do). This time, she let me have this gold beauty since she found it too sweet for her taste after blind buying it. I wasn't about to complain, especially as I really love this scent.

Aquolina is a brand that was quite big on Youtube a while back - I'm sure most of you are familiar with their Pink Sugar fragrance. It's famous for being sweet, with notes of cotton candy and vanilla. My aunt had Pink Sugar and I absolutely loved it, despite never getting it for myself. I didn't even know they came out with a new fragrance until my aunt presented me with this cute and oh-so-shiny box.

Gold Sugar is an Eau de Toilette, but might as well be called a perfume as it lasts longer than some EDPs I have in my collection. I definitely smell the similarity between this and YSL's Cinema, which could easily be its older brother. Gold Sugar is a very sweet vanillary fragrance with notes of sweets (I definitely smell caramel and something sweet & baked) as well as citruses (orange) and some musk thrown in as well. All together it makes for a beautiful sweet blend of deliciousness. I've found myself reaching for this fragrance daily and took it with me to Amsterdam as well. The only disappointing thing with this fragrance is the absence of coconut - while it is stated as one of the notes, I really don't smell it, which is such a shame as that is one of my favourite notes. However, it still makes for a beautiful fragrance, which is surprisingly not as teen-y as it may seem if you look at the packaging and description. I'd say it all depends on the person who wears it. Probably the best part is the fact that it is really inexpensive - you can get the 100 ml bottle for as low as 25€ (try AllBeauty.com).

Have you tried any Aquolina perfumes?
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Friday, May 9, 2014

The best drugstore & high end mascara




Hello hello! I've been absent for a little while and neglected to inform you I was going to Amsterdam for a few days. I'm finally back and I have so much to show and tell - I'll make sure to include the bits I got in future posts. Today though, I'd like to talk about two recent favourites from the makeup counter.

I'm a bit of a mascara addict and I do love me some long lashes. I've tried so many mascaras up to now and I thought it might be nice to share two favourites which I've been reaching for consistently for the last month or so. I picked one from the drugstore and one high end mascara to mix it up a bit. Let's see what my favourites are.

Starting off with the drugstore favourite, I've been smitten with this L'Oréal Paris Miss Manga Mascara. This has had its fair share of blogosphere moments as everyone and their mum seems to love it - and I am no different. I picked this mascara up on a whim at my local drugstore and was immediately put off when I opened it at home. It has one of the strangest wands I have ever seen - it's very bendy and something in between plastic and bristle. However, this performs incredibly well on my lashes and I've been using it almost every day since I got it. Also have to say the advertisement got the best of me as I am partial to a bit of manga! As for the effect it has, it lengthens quite a bit, but mostly adds crazy volume to my lashes - they look so thick! This baby will cost you a mere 10€.

My high end favourite is the Clarins Be Long Mascara. This is a recent addition to my mascara drawer and I have to say I had a similar reaction as with the previous one when I opened it - disappointment! I really don't like plastic brushes and I was pretty sure I would hate this. I'm more of a volume kind of gal when it comes to lashes, but this completely converted me. So much length, guys! I actually put my glasses on after a long day and my lashes were so long they were getting pressed up against the lenses of the glasses. While this may come at a heftier price point, I really think it's worth it for that crazy length alone (and I also really like the separation it gives to my lashes, no clumps in sight with this one). You'll fork out around 25€ for this mascara.

I would also like to add that I've been a bit cheeky and have used both of these together on multiple occasions, one for volume, the other for length ... The results are mind bogglingly voluminous & long, if I do say so myself (and I just did).

Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

The best facial cleansers


Apparently I have a bit of an obsession with facial cleansers as I have managed to accumulate quite the collection. Since there are too many to do a post on each one, I just thought I would do an overview of the ones I have and tell you what I like about them. Let's get started.

Best for removing makeup

Starting off from the top, we have Yves Rocher Pure Chammomile Cleansing Gel. When I used to work at Yves Rocher, this was a best seller, and after finally trying it myself, I can really see why. It's great for using in the shower - you just apply it to your face, massage it in and wash it off. It does not even irritate my eyes in the slightest, which is a pleasant change. I also think it's slightly cooling on my skin which is really interesting and I quite enjoy that effect. It is also the cheapest out of the three options I have for you, costing around 6€.

Next we have a Vichy favourite which I already mentioned in a recent post, namely the Pureté Thermale 3 in 1 One Step Cleanser. Another super gentle cleanser that takes off all of my makeup. This one works the same as the previous product, though I have to point out you really need the smallest amount, it removes everything with a pea sized drop of product. It costs around 10-15€ I think.

And finally, my high end favourite - Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel. If you want a luxury treat, this is the one to go for, and it is my favourite out of the three. It is a really interesting product which comes out as a gel, feels as nourishing as oil, but turns into cleansing milk when you apply it to your skin. It removes makeup incredibly well and I don't even use a micellar solution with this one - I just trust it to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. It comes with the hefty pricetag of 27€, but is worth it in my opinion (plus I have had it for about a year and a half and still have a bit left).

Best ingredients

A newer addition to my collection is the Dr Scheller Pomegranate Wash Gel for sensitive skin. According to the label, this product contains no silicones, no mineral oils and no synthetic colorants, which is definitely something I can get on board with. I really enjoy this product as it is extremely gentle, but does an amazing job of removing leftover traces of makeup. I like using it in the morning or in the evening after I use my micellar solution. Price is around 6€.

A firm favourite of mine are also the Lavera Cleansing Gels. I have had a few now and absolutely loved all of them - especially this one for sensitive skin. I have mentioned them in so many posts I don't even think they need a special introduction, I'd just like to say Lavera is a wonderful natural brand and I've been incredibly pleased with their products (I also love their foundation and concealer). Price for the gels is around 6€.

Best for problematic skin

I've recently been giving the REN Clarimatte T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel a try as well. I really like REN products and was very kindly sent the Clarimatte range to try as my skin has been increasingly problematic lately. I've been using this cleansing gel every day in the hopes of my pores becoming smaller and diminishing. In fact, as I type this, I have the Pore Detox mask on my face (quite a sight). I will report on my success with this range soon, but I think this product is the most appropriate for problematic skin out of the bunch. 

I would say giving your skin a good cleanse is definitely an important step - don't be like me and fall asleep with all of your makeup on! Also, if you're a bit lazy and use face wipes, try to get a cleanser to wash your face with afterwards, it makes such a difference and is really pleasant as well.

Click 'read more' for Slovenian version.
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